You must answer this Quiz Question: How tall is Magmar? Why Magmar? Because it's Blaine, and because it's always Magmar. This is R Inanimate, and this is my Top 8 Warstory. There will be a lack of pictures, since I don't really take pictures of things, sadly. Thursday Thursday was a fairly uneventful day, as far as Pokemon related things are concerned. TRE(my brother), my dad and I took a plane to Toronto in the morning. We met Chinese Dood(Tony) and Sally at the airport. It turned out that we were on the same plane. The two of them planned to do some sightseeing, since it was their first time in Toronto. We saw them after landing in Toronto at the baggage claim, afterwards we went our separate ways. The rest of Thursday was spent with some of our relatives. Friday We had lunch, then my brother and I were dropped off at the DoubleTree Hilton, where the Nationals were held, and where our hotel room was. We received a cookie upon checking in, which was pretty nice, our room was #3228. We went up to put our bags into our room then went looking for FearZeCrawdaunt (will now be known as Mark for the rest of this, because his username is too long) in the lobby area. He was supposed to be rooming in with us, but we didn't have the room until Friday, while he got in on Thursday. We didn't have any sort of way to contact each other since I forgot to ask for his cellphone number, or give him mine, so I was a bit worried about what he was going to do. When we found him, he said that he just stayed in the hotel lobby on Thursday night, and did some play testing for TCG with a few other TCG players that had checked in, so everything worked out. Mark told us that skarm was also in, so we went looking for him afterwards. We found him near the front of the hotel, and we talked around for a bit before heading up towards our room. Apparently, the room we had was much better than the one that skarm had, and it ended up being the room everyone gathered in to hang out on the weekend. A number of people planned to bring an N64, so I decided to bring our copy of Pokemon Stadium 2, just to be sure we had it around. It was a good thing that I did, because nobody else brought Stadium 2, and it was the game we played the most this weekend. Mark had his Pikachu N64, 3 controllers, and Smash Bros., so we hooked it up and started playing. The first thing we did was play a game of Challenge Cup. I played against my brother in the first game. Due to how Stadium works, you can't see your moves without having the other player see them as well. So instead of looking at what his Pokemon have for attacks, my brother decides to play Challenge Cup by choosing moves blindly. Naturally, I steped up to the challenge to hilarious results, which led to all future games of Challenge Cup that weekend being played that way. Things like Tentacool sweep, and Espeon always failing to do anything useful in a battle were pretty great. However there was one particular match was went beyond that. So here's a Warstory within a warstory. Challenge Cup Warstory (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Challenge Cup Warstory (open) Challenge Cup Warstory (close) After pulling a comeback win against TRE, with a Bubblebeam + Sludge Bomb Tentacool, and a second comeback using a Jolteon against skarm, I was facing against FearZeCrawdaunt. I chose a Heracross, Omastar, and Exeggutor, while he chose Charizard, Rhydon, and Exeggutor. I was facing against Mark, I had a Heracross, Omastar, and Exeggutor, while he had Charizard, Rhydon, and Exeggutor. Omastar was KO'd by Charizard, due to getting burned by Ember on a switch in, and Charizard stalling it out by Fly, Protect, and switching to Exeggutor. Exeggutor loses to Charizard, by getting hit by Toxic from Mark's Exeggutor, and being stuck using SolarBeam when he uses Fly. So I end up being stuck with a half health Heracross against his 3 remaining Pokemon. A Charizard at about 80% HP, an Exeggutor, and Rhydon, though I didn't know he had that at the time. 1-3 I know what all my moves for Heracross are, and things don't look good. I do the only thing that I can against Charizard. Use Double Team. Counting turns from when Heracross enters the battle. Turn 1 Charizard flew up high! Heracross used Double Team! Charizard used Fly!... but it missed! Heracross uses Megahorn for about 45 damage. Turn 3 Charizard flew up high! Heracross used Double Team! Charizard used Fly!... but it missed! Heracross uses Tackle for about 40 damage. Turn 5 Charizard flew up high! Heracross used Double Team! Charizard used Fly!... but it missed! Heracross uses Tackle for about 40 damage. At this point, Charizard is at about 85 or so HP, and Mark gets a bit fed up with the Double Teams and goes for the Ember instead. Turn 7 Charizard uses Ember!... but it missed! Heracross uses Megahorn... It's a CRITICAL HIT! I cheer and the critical, but then look back at the screen and find that ...Charizard survives with 1 HP! Heracross isn't safe yet! Turn 8 Charizard goes for the Ember again... but once again it misses Heracross, who then finishes off Charizard with a HEAVY TACKLE! 1-2 Mark then sends out Rhydon, but he doesn't know any of its moves yet. Turn 9 Heracross uses Megahorn hitting for about 45% of Rhydon's HP. Rhydon uses... Dig! Rhydon burrows underground, giving Heracross an opportunity to use another Double Team! Turn 11 After Rhydon comes back up, missing Heracross, naturally, I stab it again with Megahorn putting it into the red. Rhydon uses Scary Face. This could be trouble since it would make Heracross slower than Exeggutor if it hits. However, the move fails! Turn 12 Rhydon is taken out by one more Megahorn, and Exeggutor is sent out! 1-1 This is a serious mismatch, and we choose our moves. Heracross with Megahorn, and Exeggutor with Psychic... Turn 13 Heracross uses Megah- no, wait! Exeggutor moved first! The Exeggutor was naturally faster than my Heracross! Exeggutor uses Psychic... IT'S A HIT! "And there goes the battle!" Heracross faints from the attack, and the 3 vs 1 turnaround was stopped by the most unlikely of events, after the initial turn of unlikely events. Thus ending my streak of comeback victories. 0-1 We were all pretty much yelling at the screen and laughing throughout Heracross's one bug stand, and the final twist at the end of the battle. The moral of the battle: Exeggutor beats Heracross, who beats Charizard, who beats Omastar Gene showed up at around this point. Afterwards, we played a few more rounds of Challenge Cup and some rounds of the Quiz game. I found that I still had a lot of my knowledge for answering the questions, and won anytime that I was playing in the quiz, by a fairly large margin. It felt pretty good to answer Magmar correctly to win the game, before the question was read, and yelling out "It's Always Magmar!" We then just sat in the room and relaxed for a few hours, while leaving the N64 on. So we had this tune playing in the background: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKHfjp9tj7M During this time, we had some TCG discussion with Mark, who would be playing on Saturday for the TCG nats. He was showing us his card binder, showing us cards like "Blaine's Quiz #1", and a Blissey card that he had drawn a Top Hat and Monocle onto. This led to skarm wanting to buy some booster packs for the sole purpose of drawing on top of Pokemon Cards, and us making jokes that skarm should join the TCG tourney and slip some "Blaine's Quiz #1" and cards that have been drawn on into his deck. I also played a game against him, since he had an extra deck. I got pretty badly energy screwed at the beginning of the game, so it wasn't really that close at all. Feathers was to arrive at the hotel sometime today, but she had to get an empty sead on an Air Canada flight, which lead to her expecting to arrive at around 8 Eastern. She was rooming in with skarm and Gene, so it would be kind of bad if we were all out when she arrived, but it was currently 5PM at the time, so the 5 of us went out to look around the hotel area. Honestly, there wasn't very much around the hotel. There were a number of restaurants across the street, and a convenience store, called Dixon Convenience. Since skarm was looking for a place to buy some Pokemon Cards, we went and had a look at Dixon Convenience. Sadly, they didn't sell Pokemon Cards, however we were quite intrigued by the fact that the convenience store sold belts, and quite a number of them too. We had dinner at Swiss Chalet, in which after our meal Mark asked the waitress if he could change some spare cash he had for a new Canadian 50$ bill. He wanted to show us the new security feature with the new 50$ involving shining a light through a clear hole in it, which reaveals rainbow coloured 50's. Though the lighting wasn't good enough at the restaurant so he'd do that later. After getting back, we play some Smash Bros. Feathers arrives, and joins us part way through. We then decide to do some late night exploring of the area around the hotel. By searching online, Mark found out that there was a Playdium relatively close to our area on Pongo Street*, so we decided to walk over there since it was said to be open till 1 AM. But before that, Mark showed us the 50$ bill. He shined a light through it, and could see the 50's in the maple leaf shaped window, but everybody else who tried failed to see it, which led to us jokingly calling him out on it. With that, we set out. *The street wasn't actually called Pongo Street, it's just what we kept calling it, I don't remember the actual street name Before heading to the Playdium, we stopped at a Subway first, so Feathers could get something to eat. Mark bought 12 cookies as well, which I said he could use to try to bribe people if he's losing during the TCG nats. After about a 10 or 15 minute walk, we reached the Playdium... Store, which was closed. We probably should have noticed that there was something up when we started walking through a rather deserted road off to the side of the highway, but in the end we walked all the way to the closed store. We then head back, but not before some pictures were taken in front of the store. We stop by the Tim Hortons + Cold Stone Creamery beside the Subway, and have some ice cream. We meet a Quinn, the Seniors champion from the Surrey Regionals here. Who isn't from Smogon, but would like to be. After watching Mark get crushed in Mario Kart 7, because Zucchinis are not very fast, we return to the hotel and go to the 12th floor, as Mark said that there were some free drinks there. We go up to the 12th floor, where there was a room with a fairly large number of TCG players doing some last minute playtesting. If you can see where this is going, you'll know that there were no free drinks to be had in that room. The fridge in the back of the room was empty, though there were plenty of empty cans all around the room with the TCG players. Due to seeing "rainbow 50's that don't exist", going to Playdium...store.com, and going for non-existant free drinks, this sort of became a joke for the rest of the Nats. Afterwards, we split up, and skarm, Feathers, and Gene went to their hotel room, while we went to ours. I played a practice VGC match against Mark afterwards, using my Hail team, where I won the first game, lost the second, and would have lost the third if he didn't try to Earthquake Rotom-F based on some wild logic. We ended up staying up to around 2 AM talking. I wasn't able to really get to sleep that night. Saturday TCG Nats were today, my brother and Mark got up at around 8AM. I couldn't really get to sleep, so I was feeling kind of blah, so I slept until 9:30. After I woke up, Mark, my brother and I went to go see if skarm was awake. Feathers was awake, and told us that Gene and skarm were not, so we headed back down to the TCG tourney room. They had a few dealers at the front of the room, and I noted that skarm could buy himself some Pokemon Cards to draw on here. After a short while, we met Atlas, who was also planning to play TCG, using a Bebop Punch Primeape deck, which turned out to not be very good, and also met Bidier who was planning to play in VGC again if he doesn't Top Cut TCG. He was going to use a team provided by Mark's friend, Max. Eventually everyone was together around the tourney area. skarm decided to buy 11 booster packs at 4$ each, to one up Feathers who bought a couple boosters before skarm got downstairs. And we all helped him open the packs. I don't really know much about the card game, but I think most of the cards weren't of any value. He gets a Chansey card, which he gives to Mark, who draws a bowler hat and cane on at by suggestion from Feathers. Eventually, the TCG tourney started, and Mark and Atlus went off to play their matches. For most of the day, we just hung out around outside the tourney room, and played some practice VGC battles. Atlus usually joined us within a few minute since he often ended up losing within 2 turns or so. During this time Gene got randomly challenged by a person with a trainer name of FARVID. And he wasn't really paying attention and accepted. The battle was not level scaled, was 6 on 6, and had Wonder Launcher on, but he didn't notice and only chose 4 Pokemon. He lost the battle badly, getting to have the acheivement of losing 5-0 in a VGC battle. The person was someone that skarm recognized from random Wi-Fi battles. Apparently FARVID was here with his son, and he would participate in Sunday's VGC tourney if his son made Top Cut in TCG. He ended up constantly challenging our group to battles if they were around in the union room, sometimes trying to pull a fast one and changing the rules to Triple Battles. He also changed up his Pokemon that he was using, after skarm and I trashed him with hail teams one after another. Somewhere around the 4th round or so, josetron shows up. And also at some point, Quinn was hanging around at the table we were at. Suddenly, he asks Feathers: "What's your resistance?", we assumed he meant TCG but then he goes on to say he meant VGC. We were quite clueless to what he was asking for, so we kind of ignored him, but the question ended up being a joke for the rest of the weekend. So... "What's your resistance?" After the 5th round, skarm and Gene decide to head off to the nearby Milestones, to have dinner and go drink. Me, josetron, and Feathers join them after the 6th round of TCG, while my brother decides to stay behind. We arrive there roughly after skarm and Gene were about finished eating, but they stuck around to have a few more drinks. During this time, they decided to try some girly drinks, and order a Captain Morgan Sunshine. This led to them texting Synre a picture of it. The response was that Synre had a drink from a fishbowl with gummy sharks in it, and to get on his level. So, not wanting to be one-upped, skarm told the waitress that he has a gay friend across the border, who has just had a drink from a fishbowl with gummy sharks and if they had anything here that could top that. And this led to them getting a drink with a bright purple high-heel shoe on top of it, which can be seen in Feather's warstory. After our dinner, we headed back to the hotel. The 8th round was done at that point, and we met back with my brother, Mark, and Atlus. We also meet Roz at this point. Mark went 4-4, although things went poorly for him after the 5th round where he lost in a disupte by judge's decision, he decided to continute to the end. Atlas ended up in last place of those who stayed to the end with a 1-7(?) record. Since my brother, Mark, and Atlas hadn't had dinner yet, they went to go get something to eat while the rest of us went up to my hotel room to play some N64. Feathers had a 4th controller, so we now had 4 controllers to use. I decided that we should play 4 player tag team Challenge Cup. I can't remember too much about the battles, aside from the one where I had an Aerodactyl, with nearly solo'd the opponent's team, and the match ended up being Aerodactyl vs. Steelix, and Steelix SelfDestructed, giving my team the win. After some time, TRE, Mark, and Atlus returned, and also Chinese Dood and Sally joined us. We started playing Quiz and Minigames afterwards, then finally played Snowboard Kids 1. Which was notedly terrible so we moved on to Diddy Kong Racing shortly after. Banjo in a Hovercraft is too strong. At some point, Mark told us his friend Trevore, wanted us to build him a team for VGC on the next day. We were trying to decide what to give him, at first we were sort of coming up with a trollish team, using things like Volbeat, Jolly Parasect, and Attract+Swagger Tornadus/Thundurus, with items like Escape Button and Red Card. But in the end, we kept the team functional. It still ran Volbeat though, but we were actually serious in having him use one. It was around 1AM before we decided to go off to sleep. And not till 2AM that I got to sleep. Since Mark didn't make Top Cut in TCG, he asked if I had a VGC team I could lend to him, so I lent him my Spring International Hail Team, and let him figure out how it worked. Sunday VGC Nats day. Most of us ended up waking up fairly early, and registered early. Afterwards, we went for breakfast at the nearby Tim Horton's before the Nats started. Now I finally get to talk about the team I used for nats. I decided not to change my team for the Nationals. Knowing the risks, since I would end up facing some people who knew my team, I was still quite confident in the combination of my team's strength and my own prediction skill to pull off a win. I said what my Pokemon were in the team for my Regionals Story, but I'll go in depth and talk about them this time, since it's a team that I've been using since the end of February. I wanted a change so I changed some nicknames. Unfortunately, half my team is from 4th Gen, so half my team's nicknames have a theme (Nyaruko), while the other half doesn't. Sometimes I'm wondering if my nicknaming sense was better a decade ago when I'd just scramble up the letters in a Pokemon name for a nickname, or now where I just name them after anime characters... Politoed (F) @ Choice Scarf ***Nyaruko Trait: Drizzle IVs: 31/11/20/31/31/31 EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Surf - Ice Beam - Perish Song - Hypnosis The Scarfed Politoed that creeps up to you with a smile. The Politoed I use in my rain teams is always scarfed. Surf and Ice Beam are no brainers. Since I don't have too many issues using Surf to attack the opponents at the expense at my ally, or rather I manage my damage pretty well, I can really throw people off their game at times. Politoed often ends up being a mid or late game Pokemon for me, unless I don't see any weather changers on the opponent team. Perish Song and Hypnosis may seem like strange choices for a Scarfer, but I usually found myself never using any damaging attacks except Surf and Ice Beam, so I went with Hypnosis as a despiration move, and Perish Song as a late game Cress killer. Unfortunately for me, Hypnosis has had an accuracy of about 20% or so for me ever since that last SPL match where I used Hypnosis to shut down Huy's Specs Gyarados for the win. Ludicolo (M) @ Absorb Bulb ***Hasuta Trait: Swift Swim IVs: 30/23/31/31/31/31 EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Fake Out - Giga Drain - Surf - Ice Beam It was yellow, and was the only male Pokemon on my team. There really isn't much to say about it. It's the same Ludicolo I've been using since November. Timid is to outspeed and Fake Out Hitmontops, since I find the team is often outside of the rain. Absorb Bulb is nice, I kind of wish I could go with another item at times, but there are always times where having an Abosrb Bulb really bails me out of tough spots. Metagross @ Psychic Gem ***Gespenst-S Trait: Clear Body IVs: 31/31/27/01/30/19 EVs: 244 HP / 116 Atk / 4 Def / 144 SDef Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Meteor Mash - Zen Headbutt - Bullet Punch - Protect Metagross is a super robot. Ever since 2010, I've been running a Metagross with special defensive bulk. It was originally supposed to be used to guarantee that it can take a Modest Palkia's Fire Blast, non-Life Orb'd. Too bad when it was put to the test, the one Palkia that Fire Blasted it got a critical hit. In 2012, I found the extra bulk to be especially useful as it allowed Metagross to have a high chance at taking 2 STAB Thunderbots, 2 Zapdos Heatwaves, or Rain Life Orb Hydro Pump from Ludicolo, while still having a decent chance at taking out Latios with a Meteor Mash followed by Bullet Punch. Much like the accuracy of its moves, none of these are guarantees, and yet somehow it always felt like it held out when I depended on it. Psychic Gem Zen Headbutt was primarily to give the team an Amoonguss killer, while still dealing decent amounts of damage to many common Pokemon. Gastrodon (F) @ Rindo Berry ***Kerykeion Trait: Storm Drain IVs: 31/20/31/28/31/00 EVs: 116 HP / 92 Def / 232 SAtk / 68 SDef Quiet Nature (+SAtk, -Spd) - Surf - Earth Power - Ice Beam - Protect I can't change nicknames of my 4th Gen trade forwards, so my Gastrodon remains with it's previous nickname. It's an offense Gastrodon, and my Anti-Trick Room Pokemon. Storm Drain is very useful to the rest of the team, redirecting water away from Metagross and Volcarona, and getting powered up by Ludicolo and Politoed. The EV spread is slightly better than simply going for 252 HP defensively. Since Gastrodon outslows a number of Pokemon under Trick Room, and can hit hard decently hard after getting a Storm Drain boost or two, it can allow me to keep up some pressure against opponents during Trick Room. My usual usage of Gastrodon often involves having it on reserve and switching it in on an opponent Water-type move, or one of my own Surfs. Due to being a bit too balanced in it's role, I find it a bit tough at times to determine when I want to be bringing Gastrodon to a battle. Salamence (F) @ Dragon Gem ***RH Exelion Trait: Intimidate IVs: 23/19/31/31/31/31 EVs: 4 HP / 4 Def / 244 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Draco Meteor - Heat Wave - Dragon Pulse - Protect Stand. By. Ready. This is a simple Dragon Gem Salamence which I've been using on teams since the November regionals, which I think has gained a bit of popularity over time. I have Dragon Pulse over Hydro Pump since I wanted a move that had 100% accuracy on Salamence's moveset, even though I have a Drizzle Politoed on this team. Its ability to OHKO many different Pokemon with Gem Meteors, along with its Intimidate is very handy, especially when I have two different Pokemon that can intercept opponent Fake Outs. Salamence was epsecially important for one of this team's Cresselia killing measures, which I will talk about with my next and last Pokemon. Volcarona (F) @ Bug Gem ***Kuuko Trait: Flame Body IVs: 31/xx/26/31/31/29 EVs: 244 HP / 48 Def / 120 SAtk / 68 SDef / 28 Spd Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Bug Buzz - Heat Wave - Rage Powder - Protect Loves Politoed despite being a Fire-type. This is probably the most unique Pokemon on this team. Once again, I have a Fire-type on my Rain team, similar to my November Regional team which ran Arcanine. It's a Specially Defensive Volcarona. The EVs allow it to outpace Modest Ludicolo by 1 outside of the rain, and survive a Gem Draco Meteor from Latios, at full HP. It also has a high chance at surviving a Garchomp's 75% Rock Slide, even without Salamece's Intimidate Support. Due to it's bulk, it can use Rage Powder to decent results, especially when diverenting away Grass- and Ice-type moves. The Bug Gem causes Volcarona's Bug Buzz to do tremendous damage to non-Ghost Trick Room users, such as Reuniclus and Cresselia. It can also OHKO 252/0 Tyranitar if I cancel out the Sand by sending out Politoed. One big feature is that between Salamence and Volcarona, they can KO a Cresselia in one attack round with a high chance of success. Gem Dragon Pulse, followed by a Gem Bug Buzz has a 70% chance to KO Cresselia in the worst case scenario or 252/252 Calm, and bypasses the Sitrus Berry that it may hold. This catches a ton of people off guard, as Cresselia would normally be expected to stand tall when it's at full HP, often leading to the opponent simply collapsing from the loss of Cress's support. The team as a whole fits very well with my own personal playing style. It had a lot of ways to surprise opponents, punishing people hard for being too standard and predictable, but was still flexible enough to handle just about any situation, provided I was on my game. Although I consider the team a Rain Team, it does most of its work outside of its weather, while forcing people to bring their own answers to the Rain. If you aren't familiar with the team, it can also be hard to read my moves, since I like switching a lot, and will use Surf quite liberally. I think the Pokemon that scares me the most for this team would be Sableye with Sunny Day, and Dry Skin Jynx. We woke up at around 9AM, then got registered for the VGC tourney. Afterwards, we set off to have some breakfast at the Tim Horton's. While waiting for the first round to start at around 11AM. The area was set up the same as it was for the TCG players the day before, so there were no TVs. There was no MC, though announcements were done by a Head Judge at the front of the room. We had chairs. There was no background music, but there was "background music": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfDxSEc5mDw A person had their phone strapped to their wrist and was blaring this from their phone on repeat while he played his VGC matches, with the introduction noise and card shuffling sound effects and all. There was a player meeting. Juniors had 4 rounds and 2 player Top Cut. Seniors had 5 rounds and a 4 player Top Cut. Masters had 6 rounds and an 8 player Top Cut. After a bit of technical difficulties, the first rounds went underway at around 11:45AM. My first two matches were byes. Fighting invisible, unidentified opponents can be pretty tough, they keep telling you "Get Out... Get Out..." and you are just too scared to move, but I fortunately my Tepig Hat has Odor Sleuth, so the ghosts didn't try to bother me. Round 3 is where things start for real for me. Round 3 - Griffin Pelletier My opponent ran a Trick Room team based on the Team Preview, so I went with Salamence and Ludicolo as leads, with Gastrodon and Volcarona, expecting him to bring Cresselia and Hariyama as his leads. His leads meet my expectations. Since I know that I won't be able to stop his Trick Room from going off I try to plan ahead. I decide to intentionally trade Fake Outs on turn 1 instead of going for a Draco Meteor on Hariyama like I normally would. Hariyama activates a Flame Orb. I then switch out Salamence for Gastrodon and Surf with Ludicolo. This does about 30% to Hariyama who goes for a Rock Slide, dealing a small amount to Gastrodon, and about 30% to Ludicolo. I proceed to Earth Power Hariyama, which KOs it. Cresselia sets up Light Screen, and Ludicolo Surfs again, rising Gastrodon to +2. 4-3 Griffin sends out Escavalier. This is a bit bad, since Escavalier will be faster than Gastrodon in the Trick Room. However, I manage to keep ahead of the game. I switch out Ludicolo for Salamence, cutting Escavalier's attack. And just in time too, as Cresselia goes for a Helping Hand to boost Megahorn against Gastrodon, who survives at about 30HP, and retaliates with an Earth Power on Escavalier for 60% or so. I switch Salamence back for Ludicolo, and Protect with Gastrodon. Escavalier attacks Gastrodon and is blocked, while Cresselia uses Psychic on Ludicolo putting it at about 40%. There is one turn remaining in Trick Room, so I Fake Out Escavalier, and go for a Surf. Escavalier Protects to block the Fake Out, and Cresselia does something, though I can't quite remember what it does. Trick Room ends, and I go for a Double Surf on the next turn. He goes for the attack with Cresselia, taking out Gastrodon, allowing Escavalier move and finish off Ludicolo. 2-3 I send out my remaining two Pokemon, Volcarona and Salamence. I go for the Bug Buzz and Heat Wave, taking out his front line. I then hope that his last Pokemon isn't Rhyperior. 2-1 His last Pokemon is Crawdaunt, and it is taken out by a Gem Dragon Pulse. After the battle a person hack checks me, and I'm clear. Record 3-0 After Round 3, we find out that Bidier got DQ'd from the tourney. Since he was using a team provided by one of Mark's friends, Max. The Cresselia supposedly had illegal moves, but the moveset itself was legit. I asked what the location for the Cresselia was and it say that it was caught in the PokeTransfer Lab. Whoops. Round 4 - Ren Zhu (crobert) My next opponent is crobert, who I noted also had byes since his name is right below mine on the roster. His team looked quite interesting on first glance, which I read as being some sort of rain team. Since I was concerned about Cresselia, i lead with my Volcarona and Salamence, and had Metagross and Ludicolo in the back. I was thinking of bringing Gastrodon, but ended up deciding against it. I think that was probably a mistake. He leads with Cresselia and Hitmontop which I didn't find very threatening at the time. I double protect, and he Trick Rooms. Thinking "what's the worst he can do to me?" I decide to go on the attack, knowing that Cresselia could potentially KO Salamence with Ice Beam. He goes for a Swagger on Hitmontop which I'm thinking, "that's okay", then I remember that Hitmontop can sometimes run Rock Slide. Naturally, it does just that, KOing Volcarona and doing about 2/3s of Salamence's HP. I do get a critical hit Gem Dragon Pulse to keep me in the game a bit though. 3-4 I send out Metagross. Ren goes for a Helping Hand Close Combat on Metagross, leaving it at about 14HP, and I counter back by KOing Hitmontop with Zen Headbutt, and Cresselia barely survives Salamence using Dragon Pulse. 3-3 Ren sends out his own Metagross. I am somewhat worried about Bullet Punch, but still decide that the best thing I can do it keep up the offense pressure. I KO his Cresselia with Bullet Punch, before it is KO'd by a Hammer Arm. Salamence's Heat Wave does about 2/3s of his Metagross's HP. 2-2 Ren sends out Hydreigon, and I send out Ludicolo. I have a bit of a feeling that the Hydreigion is scarfed, and thus my Salamence can outrun it during the final Trick Room turn. So I could either Fake Out Metagross, and attack Hydreigon, or Protect with Metagross, and Fake Out Hydreigion to burn the last turn of Trick Room. I decided to go with the latter. The Hydreigon was Scarfed. 0-2 Record 3-1 Not going for my gut feeling at the end costed me the match. I'm later told by skarm that crobert's team was extremely similar to the team that he was running in the tourney, as they both copied the same Japanese player's team. I probably would have played this match quite differently had I known, but that's the breaks. 5-1 is the record to aim for in this tourney, and with this loss, I would surely be eliminated if I lose again. Round 5 - Gordon Coates (The198?) Video: 76-46243-65769 My Round 5 opponent is was Gordon Coates, who was one of the remaining a undefeated players. It wasn't a name I recognized, but I did recognize the trainer name of THE198 from playing on the SkarmBliss server. There is always a possibility I didn't fight The198, and it was just a person who happened to have the name, like the many Ben700x, and MSankeys around, but I'll just assume it was him. His team looked pretty standard looking, and I lead off once again with volcarona and Salamence, while having Metagross and Politoed in the back. First turn I double target and KO his Cresselia... or that's what was supposed to happen had we not started our match early. There was was a re-pairing and some of the matches were changed, but not all. Mine wasn't changed, but since the move timer continued on while we were confused of the situation, some turn timers ended resulting in the CPU choosing moves. In the end we agreed to restart the battle, and choose different Pokemon if we wanted to. Well, at least we didn't have to restart the battle twice like the person beside me. I decided not to change my selection, but my opponent switched from Cresselia and Zapdos to Cresselia and Latios. Our first turn was him using a Gem Meteor on a switched in Metagross, while I burn my Gem Bug Buzz on a switched in Zapdos. The following turn, he Protects Latios and Heat Waves with Zapdos, dropping Metagross into the red, and doing a bit of damage to Volcarona. Zapdos is taken out by a Heat Wave, followed by a Zen Headbutt. 4-3 Since Metagross is crippled I expected it to go down, this turn, so I threw a Bullet Punch at Latios along with a Bug Buzz. Gordon uses Helping Hand to boost a -2 Draco Meteor against my Volcarona leaving it at about 50HP before Latios goes down. 4-2 Tyranitar is sent out. I do not know it's item, and I want to keep something alive as I plan to finish the battle using Perish Song. I throw another Bullet Punch, which ends up being a critical hit on Tyranitar for about 70% of its HP. Tyranitar Rock Slides and KOs Metagross while Volcarona uses Protect. 3-2 I send Politoed out. I switch out Volcarona for Salamence for Intimidate Support, and use Perish Song, expecting his Tyranitar to Protect. Instead, my Politoed is hit with Thunder Wave, then hit by a critical hit Rock Slide, that ends up KOing it. Perish Count 3. 2-2 I'm a bit freaked out now, since there is now a good chance that I may have screwed myself over. I double Protect to burn a turn. Count 2. His Cresselia goes for Icy Wind, while Tyranitar Rock Slides again. I then proceed to attack and KO Tyranitar, and though I haven't yet seen him use it, hoped he didn't use Psychic on my Volcarona. He uses Icy Wind, which fails to KO either of my Pokemon. Count 1. 2-1 The match is over at this point as I then Protect with Volcarona. Count 0. 1-0 Record 4-1 Despite tipping my hand at the start there, and the scare in the middle, I managed to pull off a win in another close match. From here, it looks like there will be a clear divide for the Top Cut, as long as my brother wins his 6th match. Otherwise one 4-2 player will make it to the finals. A large number of us are 4-1 at this point, so Round 6 is crucial. Round 6 - Sean Wen I managed not to be paired with anyone I know well. Sean defeated my brother a few rounds back. I gave some thought on what I could do to beat his team. And... for some reason I thought that leading with a Politoed and Ludicolo, the same as my brother, was a good idea. Especially after he went and commented on how my team looked familiar. To be honest there was a possibility that leading with Politoed and Ludicolo would cost me dearly, but luck hax was on my side in this match to an insulting degree. I critical hit Surf to KO his Scizor on the first turn, after switching for Gastrodon. This is followed by Gastrodon getting a Critical hit Surf on the Thundurus he sends out after, 4-1 He sends out a Breloom, which gets to get a useless critical hit Seed Bomb on a half HP Gastrodon, and my paralyzed Salamence finishes the battle with a Gem Dragon Pulse. 3-0 Record 5-1. Due to my byes, I end up 3rd place, and end up facing 6th: Chinese Dood. The Top Cut starts shortly after final round ended. skarm went 6-0, crobert and TRE went 5-1. A lot of the other people we know went 4-2, including Trevore, who ran the team that we created for him the night before. Apparantly Volbeat really was an MVP for him. Top 8 - Tony (Chinese Dood) Game 1 Of opponents that I could fight, he was probably the one that I was most worried about facing against. This is due to me running the same team as I did in the Regionals, and the fact that I faced him in said Regionals. I can't get a particularly good read on what his team was going to do. Although I know that his Rotom-W would have Hidden Power Grass, I felt that Gastrodon would still be helpful in the battle. In the end, I settled for Volcarona, Salamence, with Gastrodon and Politoed in the back for my first battle. Tony leads with Gyarados and Latias. I wasn't too sure what to expect, so I went for a switch with Salamence to Gastrodon to try to redirect Gyarados's attack, and went for a Bug Buzz on Latias. Tony, however, reads my opening move perfectly, using Sub to block my Bug Buzz and pulling off a surprize Stone Edge to OHKO my volcarona. I'm put in a pretty bad position, right from the start. I decide to send out Politoed, and go for Surfs to boost my Gastrodon. Tony swaps Latias for Rotom-W, and Thunder Waves my Politoed with Gyarados, as Gastrodon uses Ice Beam on Rotom. Tony gets a Critical Hit HP Grass against my Gastrodon on the following turn, severely crippling my chances at victory, so from there I try to play turns with the intent of getting some more information about his team. I manage to take out Rotom-W, nothing else. 0-3, 0W-1L Game 2 I decide to go full Rain, using Politoed and Ludicolo, with Metagross and Gastrodon in the back. Tony leads with Hydreigon, and Gyarados. I go for a Fake Out on Gyarados, which is blocked by Protect, and Hydreigion uses Hidden Power on Politoed for about 60% while Politoed fires back with an Ice Beam for roughly half. I swap out Politoed for Gastrodon, and use Surf. Hydreigon retreats for Rotom-W, and Gyarados hits Gastrodon for a small amount with Stone Edge. I go for a Double Surf this turn, doing a large amount of damage to both Gyarados and Rotom-W. Rotom-W hits Gastrodon with Hidden Power Grass for about 45% due to the Rindo Berry, while Gyarados hits Ludicolo with Thunder Wave. Noting that Tony can only KO one of my Pokemon for this turn, I continue to use Surf. He double targets and KOs Ludicolo, but Gastrodon defeats both of his Pokemon with +2 Rain Surf. 3-2 Tony sends out Latias and Hydreigon, while I send Metagross. Hydreigon finishes off Gastrodon with Dragon Pulse while Latias uses Substitute. Metagross KOs Hydreigon with a Meteor Mash. 2-1 I send out Politoed. Ice Beam breaks Sub, and Dragon Pulse KOs Politoed, Meteor Mash then connects, and a Bullet Punch wins me the battle. 1-0, 1W-1L Game 3 One more battle decides who moves on. In this battle, I decide to Bring Salamence again, since I felt it would be useful against Tony's Rotom-W. I lead with Metagross and Salamence, while he leads with Rotom-W and Latias. In the first game, his Latias opened with Substitute, which would let Salamece attack, so I decided to go on the offense and use Zen Headbutt and Draco Meteor on Rotom-W. Before finalizing my move, I hesitated. I came to the conclusion that there was no way that he would do the same opening move twice, and that he would attack me this turn. And yet, despite my reasoning, despite knowing that I shouldn't play such a risky opening turn I go for it anyways. All the warning signs were there, and I ran myself off the cliff. Latias uses Dragon Pulse and KOs my Salamence. To make things worse, Zen Headbutt misses. 3-4 I'm at a severe disadvantage, and I only have one option now. I send out Politoed and go for the despiration move: Hypnosis. As I've stated earlier, Hypnosis has been failing for me for quite a while now, and it fails me once again. Hypnosis misses, Latias uses Recover, probably predicting an Ice Beam, and Rotom-W Thunderbolts Politoed, who survives with 6HP. Gem Zen Headbutt does about 80% and activates a Sitrus Berry. Hypnosis misses again, and that seals the deal, as Politoed is taken out. Rotom is defeated by a second Zen Headbutt, but it's too late for a turn around. 2-3 Tony sends out Hydreigon, and I send out my Gastrodon. I protect with Metagross, expecting an attack towards it, but instead he double targets my Gastrodon, where I find that Hydreigon runs Hidden Power Grass. 1-3 Metagross is pretty much screwed here. Tony switches one of his Pokemon for Gyarados, and finishes it with Aqua Tail. 0-3, 1W-2L I had pretty much lost the match on Turn 3, so the remainder of the match gave me time to accept my loss. I congratulated Tony, and joined the others who were standing on the side spectating. Since Tony and Skarm made the finals and Tony won. I can say that "I did my best, I have no regrets!". The tourney officials allowed us to gather around skarm and Tony as they played their final matches as you can see with the youtube vids made for the finals. skarm got haxed by hilarious proportions, and can now add Muddy Water misses to things that he's weak to. He asked for a new trainer greeting relating to this to go with "I don't think I'll ever lose to FLY", and while scrolling through the templates: "I never miss MUDDY WATER. It's part of what I do every day." After the tournament, we had a few group photos in the hotel, but since some Smogonites went off to have dinner before the Top Cut ended, we met up with them on the way to Milestones for a Victory dinner, taking our picture in front of Dixon's Convenience. how convenient. After our dinner, we headed back to the hotel room. So we had about 14 people or so crammed into the room, and once again, we went on to playing Stadium 2. My brother and I had to leave shortly after, and although the Stadium 2 cart was ours, we decided to leave it behind so the others could continue. Overall, I had a great time. Canadain Nats have a long way to go to reach what they have at the US Nats, noting that the turn out wasn't too much different from that of a Regional event for VGC, but it's still a start. Definitely need some TVs to watch some battles for next year. No background music is okay, but the spectators could really use some TVs to watch some battles. And not have our nats on the same day as the US nats. Props -Making Top 8, skarm and Chinese Dood taking top 2 -Byes are pretty cool -getting to watch the Final battles up close -Stadium 2 gaming sessions -Participating in the 1st ever Canadian VGC Nats -Participating in a CCAT resulting in the person going 4-2 with a Volbeat -Weather wasn't terrible (usually there's a Thunderstorm whenever I go to Toronto) Slops -A repeat "3rd place Swiss, folowed by a R1 elimination from the Top Cut by the eventual Champion" -Still not facing skarm in an official Tournament since 2005 -thePlaydium...store...dotcom -A reimbursment cheque of... 136.04$ for my plane trip. I appreciate getting a reimbursment for my plane trip, but noting that Feathers, who has a sort of employee discount, would have to pay about 160$ to go to Toronto and back, 136.04$ was not quite the amount I was expecting -still no TVs A shoutout to everyone I met at the Canadian Nats: TRE, Chinsese Dood, Sally, FearZeCrawdaunt, skarm, Gene, Feathers, Atlas, Bidier, josetron, Roz, Phiddlesticks, Layell, c l e a r, crobert, The198. If there was anyone that I missed, let me know. With this, my 2012 season has come to an end, barring one last Wi-Fi tourney. I've had a lot of fun at the events this season, and feel like I've come a long way as a trainer. Good luck to those going to the Worlds, and hopefully I can continue battling strong in the next season. "You... You have the same eyes as me. You love battling so much... No, it's not just that... Battling is your reason for living. You and I are the same type, aren't we?" The answer is 4'03". If you guessed correctly, draw 2 cards.